This month my friend was running a half-marathon and to raise money to provide clean water for people in Africa. Her kids and mine are friends, so when I told my boys what their friend’s mom was doing we were totally in for contributing and praying for her. She recently had her fourth son so I was pretty inspired by her determination; she could be running for almost any cause I would’ve been “in.”
The night before the race, I gathered my little boys before bedtime and said, “Our friend’s race is tomorrow. Let’s pray for her tonight.”
My boys looked at me confused.
Me: You know how we have been working on giving more once a month for almost a year now?
Oldest Son (with a longer pause than I would have liked): Yes.
Middle Son: No.
My youngest son was not even acting interested.
Me (to my middle son): Don’t you remember at Christmas giving clean water and money for a small business loan for women through World Vision?
Middle Son: No
Me: Praying for orphans?
Middle Son: No
Me: What about grocery shopping for the food pantry?
Middle Son: No
Oldest Son: Working at Feed My Starving Children?
Middle Son: Oh yes – I remember that.
Me: Going to IKEA to get kitchen stuff for orphans aging out of foster care?
Middle Son: No.
I gaped at my beautiful middle son.
Middle Son: I do remember watching a kid play basketball and eating cookies. (At an adoption fundraiser.)
I let out a sigh of relief that he has in fact remembered two of the things we have done. I then glance around the room for my youngest whose initial disinterest has turned in to him just disappearing. I see him climbing up to the top of the dresser because his toothbrush is up there.
I freak out because I think I remember hearing someone tell me that they read somewhere that a kid climbed up furniture and it fell down on him and he died. (No drama here.)
When we finally got to actually praying my middle son said, “I want to pray for a different friend’s mom that is running…running for office.” Okay, I guess that works too.
I love my beautiful children more than life itself but I sometimes I think I am getting the early signs of Alzheimer’s and I suspect it is because of them.
But in seriousness, if we’ve been working on this for almost a year and one of my sons is having trouble remembering what we are doing, maybe I am not speaking to his heart as much as I thought I was. I know he is a just a little boy, so I don’t want to make too big of a deal of his funny complete loss of memory moment, but still, it is causing me to reflect.
Maybe next month, they will choose what we do without my guidance. Then, would they feel more personally invested in our mission? Will they hear God’s nudge in their heart to choose a place to serve or give?
Or maybe – just maybe, my middle son is not totally off in his forgetfulness. Maybe he just understands the meaning of this quote better than I do:
I need to think and pray about this.
Regardless, my friend ran her race and I am super proud of her. She is a Mama-World-Changer for sure.
And my boys…well no matter what they say or do, they just totally have my heart.
|Our family’s Once-a-Month Giving/Service Projects was featured on parenting.com. (This blog’s original name was Since I Became a Mom before it became Empowered Moms and Kids.)|
If you decide to take use this giving strategy, remember this is YOUR THING. Do what God places on YOUR HEART. Whatever works, big or little. Your family will be moved by however you decide to extend your hand. And hopefully, so will the people you give to.
Read what parenting.com says about the benefits of teaching kids to give:
“The benefits of actively fostering children’s charitable impulses are enormous. Besides helping counter the overdeveloped ‘gimme’ impulse, it gives kids a powerful boost in self-esteem to realize they can make a difference in someone’s life. ‘And as corny as it sounds,’ says Patricia Schiff Estess, a New York City writer and the author of Kids, Money & Values, ‘when you help a child help others, you are helping to create a better world.'”
Favorite eye-opening books that nudged me to see the amazing part of God’s work that we can do daily. Exciting stuff we get to be a part of.
Cheryl is a mom of 3 boys, wife, speaker, high school teacher, and author of Empowered Moms & Kids. She has a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership and is passionate about learning and teaching. On www.empoweredmomsandkids.com you’ll find inspiration and encouragement for moms raising tweens and/or teens. Read more in the “about” section of this page.